The Israeli government is meeting this week to hold talks on a possible truce with Hamas terrorists as the war in Gaza rages on. Included is the possibility of the release of some of the hostages kidnapped by attackers in the Oct. 7 raid on southern Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Tel Aviv’s mission after over 1,400 of its citizens were massacred. “The first goal is eliminating Hamas; we are not stopping until this is carried out. The second goal is the return of the hostages.”
A Hamas official was more blunt, as Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday that “we are close to reaching a truce agreement.”
As rumors swirled of a possible ceasefire, the Israel Government Press Office said Netanyahu is gathering the War Cabinet, the Security Cabinet, and other government officials to detail progress toward a truce.
Rumors in recent days centered on a five-day ceasefire that would see some of the Israeli hostages released. It would also allow the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, though skeptics believe that this may benefit Hamas terrorists as they have been under siege since their attack.
The leader of Hamas says the group is close to reaching a "truce agreement" with Israel, but Israel is yet to comment
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Qatari mediators are working to reach a deal.
It is believed that roughly 50 women and children currently held by Hamas would be released. Israel would then reciprocate by freeing some female and underage Palestinian detainees to go along with the pause in combat.
A Hamas official told Al Jazeera reporters that the final stages of negotiations center on how long the truce will last, how aid will be transported to Gaza, and specifics on the exchange of civilians held.
It is thought the final agreement is imminent.
On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog said he believed an agreement would be reached “in the coming days.” Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani called points of disagreement “very minor.”
Biden administration officials chimed in on Monday that an agreement was close.
Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007. It launched the deadliest attack on Israel in the nation’s 75 years of existence on Oct. 7.
The terrorist organization claims that Israel’s retaliation has killed at least 13,300 Palestinians. It said that the air and ground offensive rendered most of northern Gaza into a wasteland.